Ex-Parte Motions

For various reasons, a party in a domestic relations case may want to enter an order without giving notice to the other side.  This is called bringing an “ex-parte” motion.  Only in rare circumstances is this allowed, and the rules as to when this is allowed vary by counties, which have their own sets of local rules.

For example, in Cook County, pursuant to their local rules, you are able to bring an ex-parte motion “for good cause shown”.  The motion has to state with specificity why notice should not be given and why the matter should be heard ex-parte.  If the court doesn’t deem the mater appropriate to be heard ex-parte, the movant may set the matter on the motion call, with proper notice.  There are special rules regarding entering an ex-parte parenting plan as well.

Theoretically, any type of motion may be filed ex-parte.  However, if the Court does not believe it should be heard ex-parte, you will be forced to give notice to the other side.  Oftentimes an emergency order of protection will be heard ex-parte, and will be returned back within 21 days to have a full hearing and give notice to the other side.
The bottom line is, while it is possible to file an motion ex-parte (or, without notice to the other side) in almost every situation except for dire emergencies, the Court will want to give notice to the other side, for fear that the Order will end up being vacated.

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